2015 Volvo S60: That Familiar Swedish Competence
May 26, 2015
I grabbed the keys to our 2015 Volvo S60 recently and one of the first questions that popped in my head was: Didn't we just have an S60 in our fleet? The exact details were fuzzy, but when I checked, sure enough there it was: our 2012 S60, a T5 model highlighted by its spiced pumpkin latte-hued color.
Both our 2015 car and the older 2012 are of the same generation, but the new T6's main differentiating quality is its 302-horsepower four-cylinder engine. To the mainstream, it's a small difference, but to Volvo the turbo-four represents its future, as the engine will proliferate across the automaker's lineup.
My lack of immediate recall on the old car also speaks to an inherent quality of the S60. This is not a shock-and-awe sedan that addles your memory synapses. Instead, it just stays in the background to deliver a balanced luxury sedan experience.
Our 2015 S60 still has the same overall interior design that debuted for the 2011 model year. There's the main waterfall-like center stack highlighted by four main dials, the "mode-man" climate air flow controls, the old-school keypad button layout and the 7-inch information display.
It looks handsome, interior quality is high, and build-quality is solid. It still whispers "Sweden," even if that's now being translated from Chinese.
The driving experience is still low key, too. There's definitely more pop from the new, more powerful engine when you put the hammer down, but otherwise it just thrums away quietly and efficiently. When commuting around town, the S60 offers composed ride quality complemented by fairly nimble feel around turns, as long as you're not really pressing for maximum G-loads.
Overall, yes, it's still very much an S60. To me that means a richer and more pleasing experience than you'll get from a workaday midsize sedan, but not so much to be possibly pretentious or overbearing. There's certainly some appeal in that.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 5,450 miles